Home Sony files new patent for multi-modal virtual buttons

Sony files new patent for multi-modal virtual buttons

Sony, creators of the gaming behemoth Playstation, have filed a patent focused on adding virtual buttons to game controllers, reports GameRant. The patent is hardware-agnostic and not tied exclusively to their DualSense controllers.

Described as ‘multi-modal’ by the patent, the technology would use multiple different sources to detect finger gestures and translate that into virtual button presses. Joining the legions of tech companies utilizing AI for innovative solutions, the collected data would be fed into a machine-learning model designed to interpret it.

The machine-learning algorithm would be trained on a variety of different sets of data relating to different intended virtual buttons, and use this to understand data generated by the user.

A plurality of data will be used to manage virtual button presses

The patent describes an extremely broad range of data sources it could use for its virtual buttons, from detecting a finger gesture on the surface of the controller to audio data captured by a microphone to controller-mounted smartphone cameras watching for movement. It describes a “plurality” of sensors intended to capture user data.

The filing of this new patent shows that Sony is committed to virtual buttons and to using AI to further its gaming technology. After rumors based on older patents that the PS VR2 would have virtual buttons and finger-tracking technology turned out to be unfounded, Sony likely felt the technology needed further development, and this new patent is a step closer to that goal.

Gaming technology is a competitive space and after recent news that Microsoft’s Xbox overtook Sony’s Playstation for the first time, Sony will likely be relying on its technological might to reassert its dominance in the market it has long been in control of.

Featured image: Borja Lopez/Pexels

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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